Lower Your Risk of Skin Cancer With 9 Tips

Maybe it’s not warm and sunny out right now, but skin cancer prevention shouldn’t wait for the beach.

Did you know that the damaging rays of the sun bounce off of the snow?

These are the same harmful rays that you’ll find protecting yourself when at the beach.

Many of the more than 5 million skin cancer cases that are diagnosed annually could be prevented by protecting skin from excessive sun exposure and not using indoor tanning devices.

Maybe not surprisingly, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.

You already know that you should be applying SPF 30 or above for when you go outside for extended periods of being outside, but what else can you do.

Sunscreen alone is not nearly enough.

9 more tips for skin cancer prevention

1. Seek the Shade

When you are outside for any period of time, whether it be at a backyard BBQ or on vacation with your family, try and seek out spots where there is shade for you to hang out in.

2. Don’t Get Sunburned

This may go without saying, but we are saying it anyway.

Getting sunburned just once every couple of years can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer.

3. AVOID TANNING BEDS

Tanning beds may seem like a safe alternative. THEY ARE NOT!

Using a tanning bed before you turn 35 can increase your risk of skin cancer by 59%.

4. COVER UP

Even when you are sitting beachside, cover yourself with clothing as well as a broad-brimmed hat to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

Wear UV-blocking sunglasses as well.

5. WEAR UVA/UVB SPF 15 EVERY day

6. Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen

This should be done to your whole body 30-minutes before going outside. Reapply every 2 hours or directly after swimming.

7. Examine your skin

Look from your head-to-toes for anything that could be out of the ordinary. If you see something, then ask your doctor.

8. See a DERMATOLOGIST ONCE A YEAR

You should see your dermatologist once a year for a professional skin exam.

9. GET VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is great for your bones. You can certainly get enough from a healthy diet and supplements.

You can get it a minimal amount through the rays of the sun, but the risks for skin cancer far outweigh the benefits.

Whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall, take skin cancer prevention as you would if you were headed out to the beach for the day and you’ll greatly lower your risk each and every day.

Photo by Annie Spratt